Oily Cart's "un-cancellable programme" of theatre for families

9/16/2020 3:44:06 PM
Oily Cart's "un-cancellable programme" of theatre for families
Fantasic For Families

Oily Cart make inclusive, sensory shows using sounds, smells, touch, lights, music and movement. They have been nominated for the Fantastic for Families ‘Audience Impact Award’ for their work trying out new formats to integrate disabled and non-disabled family audiences. View the full shortlist.

For the last 40 years, at Oily Cart, we have been developing a multi-sensory way of making theatre shows, to make them as accessible as possible. This means our shows are full of amazing sounds, colours, smells, live music and touch. They are also highly interactive and responsive to whoever is in the room with us. In the last year we have been looking at making new formats that can open out these sensory shows so that both disabled and non-disabled families can attend. We had some great responses to this new work (which you can see a clip of here), with one parent commenting:

“We were the only SEND family there as far as I could tell which usually would make me nervous but everyone was so friendly”. Our projects are always about building connections and finding ways of being together that everyone can enjoy equally.

Since the pandemic, we have completely shifted how we are working. Oily Cart exists to serve our audiences and artists, especially those who are disabled. We are aware of what a distressing time this is for many of the families we work with and have huge respect for and are sending out our love and solidarity.

We are now on a mission to make sure shielding not affect anyone’s right to creativity, their right to connection and their right to play. Tight restrictions make us dig deeper and get more creative. We have created an ‘un-cancellable programme’ to deliver over the next 18 months, which we are really excited about sharing.

Firstly, we created an online, interactive sensory session that you can try at home for young people of all ages and perceived ability, called the ‘Jamboree Sensory Sessions’ these are based around songs that were co-created with children who are non-verbal.

Soon, we will begin touring our next lockdown project ‘Doorstep Jamboree’ where a travelling band will pop up over zoom, on doorsteps and in play soaces across London to make music with families who are still shielding and throw a socially distanced street party to make sure they are still being listened to!

Later in the year, we will produce a sensory film, which focuses on making sensation through cinematic techniques, which is a really exciting area for us. We are making this in collaboration with two incredible artists who have experienced isolation through disability.

Early next year we will begin a nation-wide project called ‘Space to Be’ where a flexible performance arrives at family’s houses, told completely through telephone conversations and packages.

To keep up to date with what we are up to, or to get involved with any of these projects you can look up the Oily Cart website at www.oilycart,org.uk, or contact us at hello@oilycart.org.uk. You can also follow us on social media, on twitter, facebook or Instagram if you look up @oilycart

We would love to hear from you – especially if you and your family are still shielding.

See the full Fantastic for Families Awards shortlist

What now? Find events near you, online-events, or activities to do at home with kids

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